105 mm Howitzer M2A1
The 105 mm Howitzer M2A1 is a light field howitzer developed by the United States for use in World War I. During the war, the gun would be used in its towed or a self-propelled variation to support advancing infantry, one of the self-propelled mount was the M4 Sherman, which mounted the M4 variant on a M52 mount. It was replaced by the L118 light gun developed by the British sometime in the 1970s.
The 105 mm howitzer relies on its explosive power initially to penetrate the armor of the enemy. Until you unlock the HEAT round, fire should be focused on light tanks or the top or bottom of medium tanks. The roof of the tank can be hit if the HE round hits the lower turret as the explosive will then send shrapnel a full spherical radius and also go down onto the roof. To hit the bottom, simply aim at the ground clearing below the tank and make sure the shell detonates under the tank, sending the shrapnel and explosive power upwards into the enemy's belly. Once you acquire the HEAT round, the anti-tank capability of the howitzer increases and you can effectively fight enemy from the front by penetrating their front armor.
Guns of comparable performance
Available rounds for the gun:
- M67 Shell - High-explosive Anti-tank (HEAT) round.
- M1 Shell - High-explosive round.
- M444 Shell - High-explosive round carrying up to 18 M39 grenades inside.
- M546 Shell - Fletchette round.
- M84/M60 Shell - Smoke round.
- H M60 Shell - Chemical weapon round, contains Mustard gas.
- M314 Shell - Illuminating round.
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History of creation and combat usage
The 105 mm Howitzer M2A1 was built with the intention of providing the infantry a close support weapon able to deliver high-explosive ammunition to reduce fortifications and other targets. Developed in 1928, it featured a 105 mm cannon with a hydropneuamtic recoil system on a carriage. The cannon is air-cooled and used semi-fixed rounds (though the M67 HEAT was fixed) that can be fired in a direct or in-direct role. The M2 howtizer was produced in large numbers during World War II, that 8,536 units were produced by the end of World War II, and the 105 mm howitzer continued to serve up up until the 1980s. In 1962, a redesignation in the inventory renamed the 105 mm Howitzer M2A1 into the more well-known 105 mm Howitzer M101A1.
The howitzer served well in its towed configuration in many different variants in many different countries world-wide, but its installment onto self-propelled carriage was also done in order to increase its mobility. The Americans did so by adapting it into a self-propelled gun on the M7 Priest, and even onto their standard M4 Sherman medium tank as the M4 (105) to give the infantry and armored forces the mobile firepower necessary to destroy heavy fortifications.
Today, the 105 mm Howitzer M2A1 has been replaced by better, more modern artillery pieces that can serve the M2A1's job more effectively.